Tag Archives: survival

A Strange Culture

Acedia3My news sources have recently been dominated by American politics related either to a) what to do about the Mueller report or  b) speculation about presidential promises of the hopeful. For the most part, I have lost interest in both of these as I have no way of discerning important information from speculation. Canada is also gearing up for election so Canadian news also has lots of promises. However a small number of articles have attracted my attention, so I offer a potpourri on this occasion — we live in a strange culture of fearfulness, laziness, and self-righteousness.

Leading the Public into Emergency Mode: Introducing the Emergency Climate Movement (201905)

A well-written statement of what needs to happen for our civilization to survive the coming apocalypse. As evidenced by the Extinction Rebellion success in the UK and the increasing number of cities throughout the world who are at least espousing a climate emergency, we are gradually moving in this direction.

Scared About City Chemicals? Don’t Be. She Did Every Test in the Book. (20190528)

An excellent article on the complexity of our exposure to toxic chemicals within our environment. The title unfortunately belies the seriousness of the issue; in particular, the article names our cultural ignorance of a) at what level do we consider chemicals to be toxic as well as b) our even greater ignorance of synergistic interaction between toxins.

The Wealth Detective Who Finds the Hidden Money of the Super Rich (20190523)

A fascinating description of how much money is hidden, and how it is hidden, by the world’s wealthy. As of 2016, the top 0.1% hold 20% of American wealth and the top 1% hold 39%, surging (more than doubling) after the economic decisions of the 1980s. For me, these are staggering figures, and an indictment of the ills of capitalism.

¿Truths? Part 15

Dave’s ¿Truths?

CogDiss01The final post of ¿Truths?

As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

The following thoughts of Charlotte Kasl seem very appropriate stances.

The 16-Steps

(1) We affirm we have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.

  • An alternative:  We admit/acknowledge we are out of control with/powerless over ________, yet we have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.

(2) We come to believe that God/Goddess/Universe/Great Spirit/Higher Power awakens the healing wisdom within us when we open ourselves to the power.

(3) We make a decision to become our authentic selves, and trust in the healing power of the truth.

(4) We examine our beliefs, addictions and dependent behavior in the context of living in a hierarchical, patriarchal culture.

(5) We share with another person and the Universe all those things inside of us for which we feel shame and guilt.

(6) We affirm and enjoy our intelligence, strengths and creativity, remembering not to hide these qualities from ourselves and others.

(7) We become willing to let go of shame, guilt, and any behavior that keeps us from loving ourselves and others.

(8) We make a list of people we have harmed and people who have harmed us, and take steps to clear out negative energy by making amends and sharing our grievances in a respectful way.

(9) We express love and gratitude to others, and increasingly we appreciate the wonder of life and the blessings we do have.

(10) We learn to trust our reality, and daily affirm that we see what we see, we know what we know and we feel what we feel.

(11) We promptly admit to mistakes and make amends when appropriate, but we do not say we are sorry for things we have not done and we do not cover up, analyze, or take responsibility for the shortcomings of others.

(12) We seek out situations, jobs, and people who affirm our intelligence, perceptions and self-worth and avoid situations or people who are hurtful, harmful, or demeaning to us.

(13) We take steps to heal our physical bodies, organize our lives, reduce stress, and have fun.

(14) We seek to find our inward calling, and develop the will and wisdom to follow it.

(15) We accept the ups and downs of life as natural events that can be used as lessons for our growth.

(16) We grow in awareness that we are sacred beings, interrelated with all living things, and we contribute to restoring peace and balance on the planet.

That’s it for my ¿Truths?

Finally! A long list (hopefully you enjoyed it).

Almost certainly there is more to come (sometime in the future).

¿Truths? Part 14

Dave’s ¿Truths?

Truth3As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting (now almost at the end).

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(353 — Continuing from previous) So much of cultural/societal tradition encourages me to do good; I validate this.

(354) To be human is truly to encompass the human process—not the journey that I demand happen (being willful), but the journey to which I need surrender (being willing).

(355) Other people have done this journey before me—they can guide me. I can learn from them, and I have to do my own journey.

Guides come in many forms—most important for me is whether or not they have done their own journeying!! If they have, they offer me an example of integration; if they haven’t, they offer me beliefs (and shoulds)! I can read about shoulds in a book.

At some point(s), I need a guide—they can help me know what I do not know! They have been here before.

(356) Why do this journey? Why plan? Why work hard at living?

As a pattern generator, somehow I delight in a good map. And if I do not do this work, I suffer—a lot! I have choice about this!

(357) There are two major measures of the journey.

The first involves the development of humility, compassion and respect—for myself and others. Nobody is perfect and we all attempt to do the best we can. We all fall down.

The first measure is how quickly we get up, from an authentic fall to an authentic stance of getting up, not avoiding the pain!

The second measure is how we respond when others fall down.

(358) To be flexible with craziness (my own and yours’s) is also a true measure of maturity.

(359) There are two major measures of truths, including these truths!

  • how inclusive is the truth. Who is excluded?
  • how persuasive is the truth. How do I resonate with it?

(360) I seek the current edge of my truths; I chew on my own truths until I am complete with them. Two areas currently occupy my attention.

  • I am clear that much of the/my therapeutic process is beneficial; I am less clear as to its harmful elements.
    • This is still true in my “retirement.”
  • In giving voice to my energy, what is the appropriate balance of my private inner world and the part of me that needs to be heard in the public domain.
    • In my retirement, I am choosing to give more attention to the public. I want my grand-children to know that I did not accept the current insanity of our species, especially in the negatives associated with scientism and consumerism.

(361) Aspects of guiding/therapy are harmful. Some of my ways of harm are —

  • I attempt to be a mentor, assisting others on their unique journeys. I do not do it perfectly—I make mistakes. I do not intentionally abuse others yet the potential is there, especially with mistakes in judgment. As well, I know that therapist-client abuse is a major societal issue at present.
    • When is my therapy abusive?
  • For the most part, I teach the skills of the inward journey. This is valuable and, I believe, essential to being a presence in the world. Yet I am myself not fully satisfied with the balance of inner/outer; sometimes I get stuck in being too inward, in not being public appropriately.
    • Do I trap my clients in the same way?
  • Often I use metaphor, the “inner child” or “sailors on a ship” as an example. Metaphor provides a frame to understand and experience. I am clear with myself that this is simply a model to aid understanding, yet I often get stuck in understanding, as opposed to action.
    • Do I trap my clients in this way also? Understanding (actually overstanding, as used by society) is the booby prize!

(362) I believe that each guide/therapist has his/her own ways of causing harm.

(363) A growing edge for me is to be public in an appropriate fashion, to challenge the stance of others, the judgments of others, in a way that speaks my truth!

Fritz Perls said that “The only authentic statement is a demand!” For me, this is partly true; another authentic statement is “I stand here.”

(364) The more something bothers me, the more I have to learn about myself (this is an aspect of the pointing finger).

What is the troublesome aspect? How does it reflect my own issues?

(365) Human beings are creative! The above truths can be the basis of a very powerful life, with much choice and much joy.

(366) ACT!

I work/play so as to accept (A) what/who I cannot change (especially other human beings), change (C) what/who I can (especially myself), and treat (T) myself well in the process. I only have now (!) in which to do this.

(367) The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

(368) The bog! The pit! Yuk!! How did I get in, this time, again.

Being confused in some fashion, often lazy or fearful. Saying “Yes” when I mean “No.” Following “shoulds”, my own or others.

(369) The bog! The pit! Yuk!! How do I get out, this time, again.

Clarity/choice/voice, especially choosing! ACT! Saying/doing “No” when I mean “No.” Saying/doing “Yes” when I mean “Yes.” Self-care, treating myself well!

(370) I still have choice about that which I cannot change.

A major choice involves whether I will continue to suffer or not!

Acceptance does not mean no pain; it means diminished suffering. And it is an active process, not a passive surrender: valuing the benefits, modifying as possible the costs. Living the Serenity Prayer.

(371) Human beings are magical. The above truths are not, and do not need to be, consistent—living is paradoxical.

To live fully, I need on occasion to step outside the bounds of rationality.

(372) Some additional thoughts—

  • How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
  • I have many questions, and only a few answers.
  • The truth will set you free but first, it will make you miserable (and afterwards, it will bind you!)
  • Honesty without compassion is disguised hostility!
  • I will go as far as I can see; then I will be able to see further!
  • Don’t confuse activity with achievement!
  • 3Ds — desire, determination and discipline; 3Ps — patience, persistence and positive; 3Cs — courage, commitment and confidence
  • Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get!
  • Do I contradict myself; very well then, I contradict myself. I am large; I contain multitudes. (Walt Whitman)
  • The Chinese pictogram for ‘Crisis’ has been said to mean both danger and opportunity!

(373) You cannot clarify repeated miscommunication by communicating further about it.

Gregory Bateson (and later, Robert Dilts expanded upon) the Logical Levels of Experience (Environment, Behavior, Capabilities, Beliefs, Values, Identity, and Spiritual), a holarchy of processes such that significant change at one level requires modification at a higher level.

Repeated miscommunication is a Behavior, and requires change at the Capability or Belief or higher level rather than more communication.

(374) You have hit bottom when you stop digging!

To be continued — one more to go!

¿Truths? Part 13

Dave’s ¿Truths?

Truth2As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(329 — continuing from previous) These imperatives also form a rich basis for ethical judgment. To ignore them is evil or, at the very least, borders on evil.

(330) Everything has an appropriate context somewhere/sometime. That which expands is that which contributes to growth.

(331) A moral/ethical stance does not suppress choice, but educates and allows liberty, encourages growth and fosters relationship. Life exists in relationship.

(332) Beyond all this, I believe that there exists a profound direct experience with mystery, being at one with the universe, called enlightenment or nirvana (as well as many other names).

I have experienced it—and I trust the validity of the experience.

Apparently a gift of mystery, unearned and perhaps not available as gift to everyone, this journey of life serves to allow the gift to be received and held without willfulness!

(333) The ultimate human journey is to live in joy and glory, free from alienation, in selfless service to life!

Paradoxically, I believe that I achieve this most effectively by ensuring my own growth, my own truths, my own pleasure and play.

(334) To be effective is to be loving and playful.

(335) I am not a human being on a spiritual journey; I am a spiritual being on a human journey!

My major work is to be grounded, so that I can then fly with the eagles.

(336) God doesn’t care if I work every day; God cares if I live every day.

(337) A life of sanctity is one in which I give thanks! To truly give thanks is to be in the presence of mystery and awe!

(338) My best working hypothesis of life is this—mystery (God) is all-present and all-knowing, yet lacks wisdom.

We are each a hologram of God—as humans, we are God’s teachers. Each of us is a set of possibilities that may become effective as a human being; in the struggle, God can learn wisdom.

(339) God don’t make no junk!

(340) I am capable of every experience, every act, no matter how heinous.

I don’t however have to act it! I have choice. The same is true of you, another individual!

The price tags may be different, though.

(341) The struggle to live fully is painful. From my perspective, I may not succeed; I may make poor choices. From God’s perspective, I am a contribution to God—and I am loved.

(342) What is the bottom line? For me, the bottom line is that I live in such a way that:

  • I act in a way that is consistent with what I say I want,
  • I live into my wanting what I get,
  • I have integrity in my core moralities, and
  • I have compassion, humility, and respect with others.

(343) For me, one of the better ways of thinking about God is contained in a puzzle called the 9-dot puzzle

Form 9 dots into a square, with one in the middle. Join the 9 dots with 4 straight lines without taking your pen off the paper.

Ask me about the answer if you get stuck. You need to step outside the box!

(344) God is useless!! God cannot be used.

I can be used by God though.

Especially God cannot be used as an excuse or an explanation of why I do not live my journey!

(345) From God’s perspective, it is likely that nothing will be used in evidence against me!

(346) The sign of God is that I will be led where I did not intend to go!

In quite unexpected ways, life presents me with opportunities and/or choices I did not expect, sometimes pleasurable, sometimes painful.

The occurrences seem more often than I would expect in a meaningless universe. When they occur, I am struck by how meaningful they are to me! This is called synchronicity.

(347) There are no quick fixes! Life is a journey and even the most rapid growth requires 5-10 years of effort!

(348) If I always do what I have always done, I will always get what I have always gotten.

(349) The journey has at least several stages.

One stage is the psychological journey (the willful journey), a stage of ego development in which I learn to say “I am! I can! I will!” This is the stage in which I struggle with my parents, with what I have been given in life, a stage where my emotions often rule (either consciously or unconsciously).

This is a necessary stage, being willful of myself. Difficulty occurs when I become willful of others as a substitute for my own growth.

(350) Another stage is the spiritual journey (the willing journey), a stage of ego transcendence in which I learn to initiate choice, a stage in which the moral imperative is chosen, a stage where the universe seems in charge.

Jesus said it as “If it is possible, let this cup be taken from me; if not, Thy will, Oh Lord!”. Many others have said it similarly.

(351) Essential to both of these stages is to learn what I think and feel, what my ongoing awareness actually is; it is often painful. The second component is then to learn what to do with my awareness, what actions are effective.

This is a life-time process!

(352) A third stage appears to be the possibility of experiencing the gift of Mystery.

The earlier growth perhaps allows the gift to be sustained.

(353) So much of cultural/societal tradition encourages me to do good; I validate this.

However, to feel good needs to be a major underlying basis of doing good; otherwise I am likely to be trapped in resentment or guilt.

I choose to feel good rather than do good as my approach to life.

To be continued — almost done!

¿Truths? Part 11

Dave’s ¿Truths?

As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(278 — Continuing from previous) What gets my attention gets me!

 (279) Society has the potential to offer much in the way of authentic living—affection, validation, contribution (participation), and earnings.

Often this does not occur.

Is it fair? (What is the agreement that I have with society?)

(280) In general, this society does not validate authentic living—authentic living is unpredictable.

Authentic living is usually a risk against the cultural model! It is judged stupid or inappropriate (the crab trap). We lack ways of safe expression (of all emotions, but especially rage), Our current ways of handling/denying rage frequently contribute to the violation of one person by another.

As a society, we need new ways of being human.

(281) I want to live authentically, getting what I say I want. How?

Am I starting from the optimal place?

(282) For me, the best definition for happiness is ‘wanting what I get’—note the differences from ‘getting what I want.’

(283) I get trapped in my emotions when I experience them in ways that leave me powerless — shame, despair, raging amongst others.

All emotion has a positive intent for me — when I determine and validate that positive intent (security, searching, caring), I am empowered.

(284) Anger and rage are for me paradoxical—they are both the most dangerous, and the most cleansing, of emotions. Dangerous when denied, and most cleansing when used effectively.

I am angry when my boundaries are invaded without my permission — and as a human being, I have very complex boundaries. I am enraged when I am simultaneously powerless and my fundamental beliefs of identity and spirit are denied.

(285) To be safe means to be free from damage ¾ danger, or injury, or the risk of damage. To be secure means to be free from apprehension.

Safety does not mean security! Security does not mean safety!

(286) To be safe with my anger/rage means that I am responsible for consequences, and that I am committed to safety.

(287) I have three rules for my anger/rage, summarized in the acronym ‘No SAD!’ When in anger/rage:

    • I will not intentionally scare (S) another human being.
    • I will not attack (A), physically or emotionally, another biological creature.
    • I will not destroy (D) in anger that which I would not destroy in peace.

(288) I do not give myself, nor do I give others, permission to ignore these rules, unless life is being threatened.

I will not violate others intentionally, unless it is very clear that I am being violated in a life-threatening manner.

(289) The second fundamental of safety is “STOP”.

Saying “STOP” means that someone, usually the person saying “stop,” does not feel secure, and is requesting that all threatening action cease until both safety and security are re-established.

It is essential that this be honored¾the overlap between safety and security is unclear at this time.

(290) When I am in internal conflict, I frequently experience this as external conflict in relationship.

The more I am willing to sort and integrate my internal conflicts, finishing what is unfinished, the more I open myself to love and play.

(291) When I point my finger at you, when I blame you, I am powerless.

A powerful metaphor is present in this process—with my finger pointing at you, my thumb stands up, and three fingers point at me! The thumb represents the issue—it needs to be handled, and it is as much part of me as it is of you. My three fingers remind me that

    • what I critique in you is also true of me, often more so,
    • it is easier for me to blame you than to examine myself, and
    • if I change and act more effectively, the issue will also change, and you might also change too!

(292) An effective leader is one who demonstrates the least blame (thereby avoiding focus on the third limb).

(293) My society is a society of violence and alienation.

I have no major issue with violence—life is violent.

My society is frequently a society of violation—I do not condone violation.

Violation occurs when freedom is restricted without permission. For me, this is only permissible in the interests of public safety—this is generally called ‘law.’

(294) My society is misogynist and sex-negative.

Growth however leads to vibrant sexuality, and is both time-consuming and demanding of authenticity.

(295) My society is child-negative.

Children are our resources, both for the future, and for many of the skills we have lost. They have their own wisdom.

(296) My society promotes knowledge and understanding.

I have no quarrel with knowledge—wisdom necessitates knowledge, accuracy of map to territory. Yet as a society, we are trapped by too much information, too much knowledge, too many options.

I also have no quarrel with understanding—authentic understanding means “to stand under,” to experience self as part of something bigger.

(297) As a society, we value “overstanding” (attempting to dominate) more than “understanding,” and “information” more than “knowledge.”

(298) My society has made major errors, especially as to the nature of power.

Fundamentally there are two choices:

    • becoming willful: domination, or
    • becoming willing: cooperation

(299) Through domination, I can be willful, developing a culture based on power and technology, on empire and slave (with many subtle euphemisms to hide what is actually happening).

Actions do however speak louder than words. Using domination, I gain significant mastery of life, with major advantages. The cost is loss of humanity, loss of relationship with the universe. Much of post-European society has followed this track.

(300) The other way is by being willing, to observe and track life, with little intervention or technology. My relatedness increases. I am at risk of starvation! Other cultures, notably the original North American native, have followed this track. Major consequences occurred during the interplay of cultures!

(301) Somehow there is a balance. (!!!???) Not easy, but then life is not designed to be easy. Life is!

Given that we overall have chosen domination, the task now is to develop power over power, to learn to use power for the purpose of cooperation. Given the self-righteous greed of domination, this will be a difficult path.

(302) I am a part of society. Am I part of the solution, or part of the problem?

(303) I am not a machine. I have inherent variability, within myself (including illness) and outside myself (compared to you).

I am programmable, especially during early childhood when my brain is developing (this is also perhaps when my mind is developing, at least the inter-relatedness between my mind and my brain).

Is the program appropriate?

(304) Part of the program includes my learning of terror and trust.

To be continued.

To What Do We Devote Ourselves

Acedia3As readers of this blog will know, I am a member of The Climate Mobilization. I strongly believe that we face an existential crisis as a species, and that we are at risk of extinction, especially if we delay action for too long a period. Gradually major organizations, cities, and countries are coming to this realization; gradually our culture is shifting. But, as with most big issues, confusion abounds and many fuzzy feel-good statements flourish. The bottom line is to what will we devote ourselves.

I personally work to alleviate suffering as this is where my skill set lies. And I work to open  discussion of what to do — that is the purpose of this blog.

The following links address some of these issues.

UK Parliament declares climate change emergency (20190501)

Slowly the world is waking to the need to respond. Hopefully the waking is associated with definitive action.

Don’t say ‘climate emergency’ in vain! (target setting in the climate emergency) (20190505)

An excellent summary of the confusion that can arise when we are not clear as to what we mean by ‘climate emergency.’ And it truly is an emergency!

The battle against climate change by Paul Kingsnorth (20190426)

Worth watching. Simply one intelligent man attempting to cope, he having been a major activist in his youth. The whole basis of my PhD dissertation was that climate disruption is not a technological issue; it is a psycho-spiritual issue. I am heartened to see it identified as such in this video.

Climate Crisis Forces Us to Ask: To What Do We Devote Ourselves? (20190506)

A journalist whom I respect asks “From this moment on, knowing what is happening to the planet, to what do I devote my life? A moment by moment issue!

¿Truths? Part 10

Dave’s ¿Truths?

CogDiss01As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(247 — Continuing from previous) When I attempt to change the third limb, I am both willful and stuck, generally without love or play!

(248) Unhealthy functioning manifests as chronic anxiety within the system. Symptoms of such a system include:

  • lack of well-differentiated leadership,
  • herding (togetherness in competition with individuality),
  • displacement of blame (decreasing personal responsibility),
  • reactivity (deregulation), not available to experience and insight,
  • sabotage proportional to poor leadership,
  • hostility proportional to lack of self-regulations, and
  • a quick-fix mentality.

(249) My reassurance is a way of telling the other that I have not heard them.

The other is likely telling me of their struggle with a human issue. How can I possibly predict the future outcome that will be experienced, especially by the other, let alone by myself?

(250) My stuckness is a measure of my trust: the more stuck, the less trust!

(251) Sulking and resenting are major forms of being willful and stuck!

(252) A useful summary that says much of how we create pain is:

Don’t bitch; don’t blame; Don’t panic; don’t shame.

(253) Every behavior has an appropriate context, a time and place when it is effective, or at least useful.

(254) A major part of the journey is dealing with the unfinished business of what I have been given in life: my natural talents, my family of origin, and the consequences of my past choices.

Especially, these impact my major relationships, my friendships and my marriage(s).

(255) The family is the fundamental context for the individual, for health and disease and growth.

It is from my family that I learn my cultural models and my unique intergenerational mythology, my modeling and imprinting of who I should be (and against which I define myself).

(256) Who taught you how to be in a family?

The obvious answer is the nuclear and extended family. Yet how healthy were they in their own lives?

And most of the learning seems to occur in the first few months or years of life, long before we have any choice as to what we learn.

(257) Given this, if the nuclear and extended family are unhealthy (witness the current divorce rate and the extent of family violations), how can the system be impacted so that children are exposed to healthy lessons.

I don’t know! The unhealthy aspects of our culture are so interconnected.

(258) I grow. My most obvious growth took place as a child, in the emotional field of my family of origin.

It is however a life-long process, one of becoming an individual, able to stand alone yet interdependent on others, living the rules that work for me, and rejecting those that do not.

(259) The child grows and learns many skills.

(260) The covert skills are:

  • how to be crazy (learned by modeling the behavior of caretakers),
  • how to avoid the pain of the craziness of others (learned by modeling the behavior of caretakers), and
  • new ways of avoiding pain (learned from his/her coping with the pain of all this)!

(261) Growth requires that I risk change! Change is often painful!

(262) Life is painful, and we avoid pain.

Until we truly learn that pain is inevitable, and life is to be lived!

Then it doesn’t matter that life is painful.

(263) Life is not always, or even generally, painful, nor do we avoid pain always.

Life is in balance—however, in large measure, we attempt to grasp the positives, and avoid the negatives.

At least, until such time as we grow in maturity.

(264) Substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, caffeine, work, any avoidance) is just another avoidance.

Complicated, though, by the dangers and consequences of the substance itself!

(265) The primary role of the family is nurture and re-creation.

(266) Parenting is the process of giving a child roots (nurture and rules) and wings (risks and the re-creation of the next cycle of life).

It is impossible to parent correctly or perfectly. As the child grows, the rules must be tested, and frequently rejected. Life must be risked!

(267) The best parenting occurs when the parent does not violate the child, and yet the parent lives his or her own truth!

And allows the rules to be known and spoken — and broken so as to allow learning.

(268) Very few of us have had perfect parents, and very few of us have identified our own truths.

In our current society, most of us have been violated in some way, and we continue the cycle by violating others, especially our children.

(269) I want to end this cycle.

I believe that this is best done by identifying and living my own truths. And being honest about my mis-takes.

(270) I need to love my children for who they are, not who I think they should be!

And I have a responsibility to them to provide an adequate model for them, a mirror for them to seek their own growth.

(271) Children have a right to be heard; adults (especially parents) have a responsibility to be clear! and generally consistent!

However, the family is not a democracy. Although children have a right to be heard, their wants and desires must be evaluated within the parameters of safety and equitable distribution of resources.

(272) If I will listen, I will learn that children have an incredible wisdom; they are not yet stuck with the cultural models, especially the ‘shoulds’!

(273) Good health (emotional and physical) is an interactive process of living my truths within my emotional network.

When I define myself, and choose to live my truths, others are also able to do so.

(274) Despite genetic anomalies and biological predisposition and genuine accidents, most of us, most of the time, create the health and disease that we experience.

(275) To say “yes” to life means that I am authentically emotional (angry, sad, sexually excited, joyous, scared-excited), and authentically in action.

I need also hold rage, aloneness, ecstasy, and terror without being trapped.

(276) My emotions are the way in which my body experiences and expresses my beliefs—the outcome of the delay loop that is my mind.

When my beliefs do not match what life is presenting, my “negative” emotions surface. Some part of me has been lost, and I hurt.

Especially when my core beliefs are challenged, my emotions are very volatile! and very powerful!

This is simply information—often very unpleasant though!

(277) Some of my core beliefs are quite infantile!

These beliefs arose from how I experienced life in my family, when I was 1-2-3 years old! Frequently these beliefs are inconsistent and quite impractical to adult living.

Learning what these beliefs are, and making better choices, is a major task of living.

(278) What gets my attention gets me!

Focusing on others, blaming others, gets me pain.

Focusing on my own process of living, of making better choices, frequently gets me completeness.

To be continued.

¿Truths? Part 9

Dave’s ¿Truths?

Truth3As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(219 — Continuing from previous) When I have an issue, it is my problem! It is my first move! It is still our issue!

(220) Relationship, especially marriage, requires

  • commitment (willingness to stay),
  • communication (willingness to share who I am honestly),
  • cooperation (willingness to be present to the other’s needs), and
  • conscious choices, dealing with the positives and negatives.
    • staying present
    • genuine safety for both of us
    • safe expression of criticism and anger.
    • problem-solving of conflict.
    • conscious fun! (long-term fun requires effort!)

(221) Relationship is maximized when both individuals are present and centered.

(222) An old adage is that ‘you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.’

The adage does not say however that one is better than the other; maybe I want a leather purse.

 (223) Relationships require both basic ingredients and transformation. Not all ingredients lead to effective transformation, especially in the direction that I want. Romance is only one of the ingredients.

It may be that I want a silk purse, and one or both of us are sow’s ears—we need to come to terms with this, perhaps staying together, or perhaps separating.

Thinking skills, feeling skills, and effective actions are all necessary for successful relationships in this complex world that we inhabit.

(224) In relationship struggles, I can only:

  • find ways so as to resolve my pain, and
  • be available to you so that you find ways to resolve your pain.

(225) This is hard work, and occasionally delightful fun!

(226) The best argument for being alone is its simplicity

Yet it provides only limited possibility for growth. Relationship provides much more!

(227) I learn the most about myself, about who I am and what it means for me to trust, from friendships and marriage!

(228) I pick the spoons that will stir me!

(229) It appears that all of biology seeks life, seeks contact. The human baby is born seeking life energy (growth, ecstasy, something?) and yet is a relatively blank slate. Experience of caretakers provided the template of what is both “normal” and “ecstatic;” it doesn’t matter to the baby if the experience is positive or negative!

Before language, before identity, this template is laid down as a basis of future expectation, future excitement. It occurs almost immediately (likely before 6 months of age), and is then somewhat modified with growth and development. This is “security,” and we want it all of our lives.

(230) At puberty, this template becomes linked to sexual development. Hence romance, a sexual fog, that restores “security” and “ecstasy.”

But the template also contains the negatives! These form the basis of the power struggle. I do not believe that it is possible to have romantic passion without later having the power struggle.

(231) It is possible, though, to work through the power struggle.

The speed is limited by maturity and wisdom.

(232) Civilization requires the regulation of instinct.

Civilization requires the regulation of togetherness and individuality, the regulation of relationships.

(233) Relationships are most effective when they are adult-adult relationships, each person responsible for their own experiences and behaviors.

This is a goal, rarely achieved. Indirectness, dependency and helplessness, romantic fog are easier (and less effective).

(234) In partnership, can we be effective with each other? I believe so.

(235) One of my truths is summarized in the poem called the Gestalt Prayer. This is not an easy poem to embrace yet there is much truth in it.

I do my thing and you do your thing. / I am not in this world to live up to your expectations  / And you are not in this world to live up to mine. / You are You and I am I, / And if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful; / If not, it can’t be helped.

(236) For me, the final line of this poem does not mean that I passively suffer.

Acceptance is an active process, and I am capable of much change (and others are also capable of change).

(237) Life necessitates struggle, sometimes saying good-bye!

(238) To say good-bye is to abandon by choice—it is characterized by sadness, pain, and the expectation that the other will not change.

(239) I live on a spectrum (a dialectic) ranging from being willful (of myself or others) to being willing (to surrender/accept).

Both are important; a balance of the two is essential.

The basic emotional triangle.
The most important diagram of my life.

(240) I live within a set of interlocking emotional triangles¾each triangle consists of any two people and a third person or issue. Emotional triangles allow life energy to circulate within an emotional system.

Given the number of people and issues within any system, we all function within thousands of simultaneous interlocking triangles. We call it the ‘familiar’ and ‘stability’; it is also our place of ‘stuckness.’

(241) There are three “laws” that impact every emotional triangle:

  • I can only change the limbs to which I belong,
  • if I change, others must change, and
  • change requires I stay connected.

(242) As simple as these laws seem, they account for much human misery.

Most of this misery occurs because I attempt to interfere in the limb, the third limb, where I do not belong, the limb between you and the other.

Alternatively, you attempt to interfere in the limb where you do not belong, the limb between me and the other.

(243) We are connected. Always we are individuals, and connected in togetherness.

Togetherness and individuality ideally support and promote each other.

(244) Unhealthy functioning occurs by persistent interference within the third limb of the emotional triangle.

It is characterized by interfering in the relationships of others, attempting to convert others to one’s own point of view by leverage, and by an inability to have a relationship with those who disagree with one’s own point of view.

(245) When I focus on my own experience and the relationships to which I belong, I have power; when I focus on you and your relationships, I am powerless and stuck.

(246) Coming to terms with powerlessness is one of the steps to maturity.

Ultimately I have only the power to change myself and my contribution in the relationships to which I belong.

(247) When I attempt to change the third limb (of a triangle) for which I do not have direct responsibility (the third side, you and the other), I am both willful and stuck, generally without love or play!

To be continued.

 

¿Truths? Part 8

Dave’s ¿Truths?

Truth2As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(189 — Continuing from previous) You and I are different.

(190) Authentic relationship means that we deal with the anger between us. This requires time and energy, often much time and energy.

It is in the working through of these differences that I learn trust, trust of you that you will not abandon me, and trust of myself that I will not abandon you!

(191) The major issue is not whether we are different—we are different!

The issue is whether we violate one another, intentionally choosing to devalue the other, treating the other as an object, sometimes in a harmful fashion.

(192) You and I are different. Most, if not all, of the differences occur either from intrinsic capabilities (such as intelligence or beauty) and/or from wounds (such as scars and shoulds).

Some of these differences can be modified, perhaps 30%.

(193) I am not God—only God is perfect, whatever that word means! The rest of us in some way struggle with imperfection—we are wounded, either from natural abilities or from previous relationships.

(194) As a culture and individually, we deny our individual and collective woundedness. When we do, we violate self or others.

(195) When there is difference, when I am angry with another, I can

  • move away from (abandon),
  • move against (attack or criticize), or
  • move towards (cooperate and problem-solve).

(196) Only the latter leads to long-term healing and growth of relationship.

(197) When I move away from or move against, I am coming from woundedness!

(198( Problem-solving: what are my needs, your needs, our needs? What alternatives do we have? What flexibility to persist until resolution, perhaps with several attempts?

What stops me from this? Usually my story that you are inflexible!! Wow!!

(199) Only when I recognize my wounding am I able to problem-solve, or otherwise move on in some fashion.

It is said that only when some other validates my wounding, is healing possible.

Perhaps—I am not sure about this part, the “only.” It is certainly an optimal component, and it may also create more victimhood!

(200) For me, authentic relationship ranges from informal friendship (what society calls “liking”) to the legal state of marriage (what society calls “loving”).

(201) In friendship, the sexual issues are minimal. I choose to show you who I am, my similarities and my differences, and to work through these differences when they impact us. I have a commitment to work through the differences that keep us apart.

Often my commitment is limited—by time, by geography, by interest.

I have some sadness about this—the world is large and there are many friendships I have lost because of its complexity, especially time and geography.

(202) In marriage, the sexual issues are prominent.

Theoretically, my commitment is unlimited. I will work through the differences—I will find ways to remain authentic and present, even with volatile emotions.

(203) Marriage is a special type of relationship; in our culture, one that begins with romance, and later (hopefully) changes to one in which I have extended opportunity to learn about myself and my ability to give, my ability to extend myself for my partner’s growth, to love as a gift.

And to receive love as a gift!

(204) There are many invalid reasons for marriage.

(205) There are only two valid reasons for marriage:

  • the care and nurture of children, the opportunity for them to grow, and
  • the friction, especially the opportunity for myself and my partner to grow.

(206) Successful relationship, especially marriage, necessitates that we achieve clarity as to what we want, and do the work (and perhaps the fun) to achieve that.

I cannot know what you want! That is your responsibility. My component is to stay present, authentically, while you do so.

(207) I can however know what I want. That is my responsibility.

Wants will vary from individual to individual; some wants are more important than others.

Meeting these wants is my responsibility, not yours.

(208) Marriage (and also friendship) is a relationship—many wants requiring a dynamic interaction between the players.

If I do not get my important wants met (in the long term), there is a very real risk that I will not stay in relationship, leaving either emotionally or physically.

(209) A wedding is an event, a product; a marriage is a process!

One of the major issues of marriage is that people change, and forget to tell each other!

(210) What each person wants/needs will vary from individual to individual.

I have many wants. The following are fundamental to me; I want to be able to share these with my partner:

  • a common vision (and appropriate action) of growing together.
  • striving for clarity of communication, with directness and honesty,
  • striving for growth and health,
  • conflict resolution principally by problem solving,
  • much sensuality, and
  • good food

(211) I have other wants; the above are fundamental to me.

(212) Process is more important than product!

(213) The universe fundamentally only provides feedback and outcomes. No mistakes, no failures, just feedback and outcomes.

Will you learn from the outcome, or not?

(214) What we call mistakes are actually takes that missed: mis-takes.

We are always doing the best we can — sometimes we miss.

(215) My ‘issues’ (the difficulties with which I struggle, and hopefully grow) are those wherein I have a direct emotional experience, usually pain, anger or sadness.

(216) If you and I are in conflict, I am responsible for my behaviors, and for all those components wherein I have direct emotional experience.

You are responsible for your behaviors, and all those components wherein you have direct emotional experience.

(217) When you have an issue, it is your problem! (It is however our issue!!)

By that I mean, it is your first move. If I attempt to solve your problem and move first, I am violating you; in some way, I am assuming you are helpless, and I am taking responsibility for your life.

Yet I care; I will not abandon you. However, I need you to define what you need.

(218) If you do not define what you need, if you simply blame and bitch (see note #75), then I act as a sink for your pain.

I don’t want that. I have enough pain of my own, thank you!

(219) When I have an issue, it is my problem! It is my first move!

It is still our issue!

To be continued.

 

Climate Vision

GreenNewDealI think this animated video is important because we need a viable vision of the future. Like most US productions, it is orientated to the US — the message needs to be global.

We only have a few years in which to transform, so a video like this brings the message home — we can transform if we are willing to do so. We are story-makers — this video is a story!

The Green New Deal, both US and Canadian, is a stepping stone to the future. It will not be easy; hopefully it is possible. It certainly promises justice!

The Intercept: A Message From The Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (20190417)